It is impossible to create a culture of generosity without, at the same time, creating a culture of gratitude. As our nation pauses this Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, I decided to focus writing this Coach on the topic of The Importance of Gratitude. Let me share a few key points about the importance of gratitude and how you can develop a culture of gratitude.
“I think sending a thank you letter is inappropriate as I have a theological problem thanking people for what they ought to do.” That was a comment a pastor made to me after asking me to write several stewardship letters for him. He didn’t mind the appeals to give. What bothered him was saying thank you. Clearly, he did not understand the value of showing gratitude. As a stewardship Coach, I understand the importance of showing gratitude by thanking donors.
Why is thanking your donors important? It might not sound spiritual, but to convince you of the importance of gratitude, here are some practical reasons for suggesting that we say thank you to donors. Saying thank you for a past gift is a subtle way of reminding people about giving.
- Saying thank you gives you an opportunity to say what gifts accomplish. People give to what matters!
- Saying thank you builds a platform upon which to ask for further gifts.
- Saying thank you produces happy donors. 99.99% of your donors are not expecting a thank you, but they will appreciate one when given.
- Saying thank you shows that you recognize donors are not simply a number but a real person.
- Saying thank you sets you apart from others who never acknowledge donations.
I believe that Christians should give without expecting anything in return. Period. We can all agree on that. Most donors never expect to hear anything about their gift. That is why it means so much to them when you try to say thank you.
Churches teach gratefulness by how they respond to givers. Everything we do in church is a teachable moment. So, when you make the effort to thank those who fuel your ministry, it shows them you are grateful and sets a standard for them in how to respond to those who give to them.
Gratefulness begets gratefulness! When you show gratefulness to donors, they, in turn, show gratefulness. While saying thank you might not mean they give more, it will certainly make donors feel appreciated for the gifts they give. Again, how you respond teaches them how to respond. The question, then, becomes how you can create a culture of gratitude.
First, become a model of gratitude yourself by living out a life of gratitude. What is your gratitude level? When you embrace a theology of gratitude, you can begin developing a culture of gratitude. Your acts of gratitude become contagious, which impacts all around you. We cannot teach what we don’t live out!
How does this relate to giving? When you establish a Culture of Gratitude and work to exhibit that in all you do, giving will increase. Take some time this week to count your blessings. The Culture of Gratitude starts with you!
There will be NO Coach next Monday as my team, and I will take this week off for Thanksgiving. See you December 4th!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Missions and Ministry Moment (aka Offering Talk) – This week’s talk can be accessed after you register at: http://acts17generosity.com/simple-file-list/Offering-Talks/2023-53-Talks-for-53-Sundays/November-12th-How-Many-Turkeys-Does-It-Take.pdf
Since there is no Coach next week, the December 4th talk can be accessed after you register at: http://acts17generosity.com/simple-file-list/Offering-Talks/2023-53-Talks-for-53-Sundays/December-3rd-Its-Time-For-Good-News.pdf